Disney 3D Printer Will Print With Fabrics

Science / Tech

Without a doubt one of the coolest new things to do in the tech world is 3D printing. People have 3D printed a variety of objects from simple toys to more complex guns that actually work. 3D printers use plastics or metals to create what you generate on your computer with precision. Now Disney is looking to change the game up with their Disney 3D printer which can create 3D printed objects from fabrics.

“We present a new type of 3D printer that can form precise, but soft and deformable 3D objects from layers of off-the shelf fabric” coauthor of the new study from Disney’s Research Program, James McCann says. “Our printer employs an approach where a sheet of fabric forms each layer of a 3D object.”

The printer works by stacking layers of fabric cut by laser on top of each other and gluing them together, this basically leaves a block of fabric. Once you pull the block out of the printer all that’s left to do is peel back the outer block of fabric and your creation is inside in soft fabric form. Really a nifty idea for maybe creating your own plush animals for kids.


Image courtesy of Disney research

“Our printer is capable of automatically feeding two separate fabric types into a single print. This allows specially cut layers of conductive fabric to be embedded in our soft prints” McCann says. “Using this capability we demonstration 3D models with touch sensing capability built into a soft print in one complete printing process, and a simply LED display making use of a conductive fabric coil for wireless power reception.”

It will be interesting to see where Disney’s tech goes from here and how much it will cost. 3D printers aren’t out to the masses but that is likely to change in the next few years as pricing goes down and the tech matures. The idea of soft printed objects is really cool. What do you think of the Disney 3d printer? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

  Source: Science Times
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